Saturday, May 9, 2020

Week of May 11th, 2020

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 36
May 11th,  2020


Happy Birthday!!!
Ms. Christina (Sunday, 10MAY20) and Ms. J[elissa] (Thursday, 14MAY20)!!

Happy Mother's Day!  Check out Jen's Awesome Mother's Day Video!!  To all of the UAI working mothers and all of your own mothers (and mother figures), HAPPY MOTHER'S Day.  For our working moms, balancing work and parenting has always been challenging, but working and parenting in the time of COVID has made everything that much...extra.  However, you have all found a way.  
  • We all have enjoyed the surprise cameos of your kids as they visited your lessons and meetings.  
  • We all stand in awe of how much you must work to balance the load of reaching our students and teaching your own at home.
  • On top of that of all that work, you are still riding the regular roller coaster of parenting (the ever-present tug of war over screen time, struggling to get them into daily safe outside activity, becoming home chefs, and so much more)
Because each of you constantly strive to be better, I know that there are times when you must be feeling like nothing is going particularly well right now.  However, take the time today to center yourself on the unbelievable opportunity you have given your children during this time period.  Essentially everyday is bring your child to work, and their exposure to your daily struggle to improve the lives of others is inspiring them in ways you cannot imagine (and in ways that their young minds may not yet be able to express).

For those of you who are celebrating your own mothers (or mother figures), I encourage you to find the times when she inspired you most.  Share that memory with her.  Words and stories are sometimes the best gifts we can give to those we admire and love! (Of course the flowers and gifts are always nice too!)

To-Do This Week

Begin Planning for Asynchronous Learning.  This week begins the ending of our live (or synchronous) online instruction.

  • Students Who Are At or Above Course Learning Targets (so passing or higher).  For those students who have successfully demonstrated mastery in your course, please provide independent activities and projects for them.  The goal is to select high interest, engaging tasks that students can complete independently.  These should not be assigned to all students.  Rather, they should only be assigned to students who are meeting course learning targets or exceeding those goals.  If needed, you can identify office hours on a particular day for these students.  
    • Should this work be graded?  You can choose how you want to evaluate this work.  This work is only for enrichment and should not be punitively graded if students do not complete. This work can be work that students complete to improve a targeted skill.  Improvement in this skill could result in a grade going from e.g. 75 to 78 or from 80 to 90, depending on the scope of the work.
    • How often should students turn in work?  No more than once a week.  So, choose Wednesday or Monday for your class submission date.  Communicate with your grade team so you are all asking on the same day.  
    • What about attendance? You should continue to have students complete daily attendance questions.  For example, if you assigned them to go on a virtual museum trip, for attendance, you might ask "Which museum are you visiting?".  The question should be multiple choice, related to your assigned work, and daily.
    • What should these "asynchronous" projects look like and do you have any resources?  There is a wide array of things you can assign.  From having kids submit a short video of a 7min workout, to doing their own version of the "White House" update on the COVID-19 Pandemice (what they wish they could here) to googling how to make "hexaflexagons."  Creativity is the call, but keep it simple for you and them.  Come to Office Hours with Kiri if you need help brainstorming or building out your ideas.  In addition, here are some resources to use and take inspiration.
  • Students who are in danger of failing (below course learning targets).  After your last lesson, your regular zoom times will be reserved for working with students who are in danger on not successfully completing your course.  This includes doing outreach, tutoring, and anything that needs to be done to support these students.  If needed, you can identify zoom times for students working on the independent, asynchronous projects.  The main goal is to use your time as flexibly as possible to make sure you connect with the students who need you the most.
  • When is Live Zoom Instruction Ending? Here are the dates of the last live zoom lesson
    • 13MAY20 - AP Lit
    • 18MAY20 - AP Bio
    • 19MAY20 - AP Lang
    • 21MAY20 - AP World
    • 22MAY20 - AP Spanish
    • 29MAY20 - Last day for all 8th and 12th grade classes.  These are terminating grades.  So we are giving these teachers an extra week to work with students to help them meet course targets and graduate.
    • 05JUN20 - All other UAI Classes

Floor Grades for Students.  We are an annualized school.  Before the COVID outbreak, we had successfully completed 2/3 of the year.  Online instruction (MP5 & MP6), therefore represent the remaining 1/3 of the school year.  Given their performance in 5 out of 6 marking periods, it is not possible to predict minimum grades for students.  Here's how

  • 2/3 or 67% of their final grade will be based on the first 4 marking periods (average).  Remember, students worked for the majority of the year to achieve the grades they have.  We need to weigh that work accordingly.  
  • 1/3 or 33% of their final grade will be based on their performance for MP 5 & 6
    Minimum grades were calculated using their current grade for MP5.  Because we're calculating minimum grades, I assumed a failing grade (55) for MP6 to make the final calculations for min. grades.  
  • For grades <65, the minimum grade is "NX" and students are indicated as either "Conference" or PID.  
    • If they are "Conference", these students are failing 1 or fewer core classes.  Annie and Kiri will be reaching out to you over the next two weeks to find out what support you need to connect with the student and provide her the tutoring support she needs to successfully meet your course learning goals by the end of June.
    • If they are "PID" these students are failing one or more core classes and as a result, their promotion to the next grade is in doubt.  Kiri is reaching out to these families directly to discuss (or document in cases where contact has proven impossible) options (which include summer school or repeating the grade)
  • For graders 65-69
    • For MS students, the minimum grade is "N"
    • For HS students, the minimum grade is "P"
  • For grades > 70
    • For MS Students, the grade is "MT"
    • For HS students, the minimum grade is the number listed

Looking to Spice Up your Remaining Lessons and Build out Your Online Prowess?  Check out this amazing resource put together by our colleagues and UA Gateway.  It has amazing digital teacher tools and tutorials that can help you increase student interactions and engagement!  I'm planning to play around with these this week and if you're interested in learning alongside me, join me in office hours!

Visualizing the Future of UAI with Social Distancing and Online Learning.  The mayor has recently put together advisory panels to plan the re-opening of the city.  Urban Assembly CEO Kristin Kearns Jordan is on the Educational Advisory panel, so the Urban Assembly will definitely have a voice (and an ear) into plans.  As soon as I know anything, you can be assured I will share it.  That said, we have some valuable time right now to envision our school as we would like it to be (vs. what we are told it should be).  If we can come to a clear vision with clear asks, their is always an opportunity to ask for what we need. We may not get it, but we certainly won't get it if we do not ask!  Many thanks to those who joined for initial sharing of ideas and concerns about the fall on Friday.  I am turning my Friday office hours into weekly brainstorming and ultimately planning sessions for the future look of UAI's Instruction in the Time of COVID -19 (you see that twist on Garcia Marquez, there?).  All are welcome to join for one, some or all of the sessions!


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